Friday, November 16, 2018

I'll Be Quirky: Maryland

If you are of a certain age, you remember exactly where you were when this sadly became an impossibility.

Five players scored in double figures Wednesday night for the Flying Dutchmen, who withstood an early upset bid by North Carolina A&T and rode a big first-half run to a 92-72 win at the Arena. The Dutchmen will complete the tournament that’s not really a tournament tonight, when they visit ACC, err, Big 10 power Maryland, Here’s a look back at the win over the Aggies and a look ahead to the Terrapins. 

North Carolina A&T led (before me and Molly arrived) for most of the first 12 minutes before the Dutchmen mounted a 17-0 run and cruised to a win over the Aggies. That run was fueled entirely by Justin Wright-Foreman, who had a four-point play amongst his nine points, and Stafford Trueheart, who had eight points, including a jumper to open the run and a 3-pointer to end it. Wright-Foreman had a game-high 22 points and shared the team lead with seven assists while Trueheart scored a career-high 14 points, all in the first half. Eli Pemberton (19 points), Desure Buie (12 points, seven assists) and Jacquil Taylor (11 points, a team-high six rebounds) all scored in double digits for the Dutchmen while Jalen Ray finished with nine points (and missed a free throw in the final minute, oh the humanity).  

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. North Carolina A&T 11/14)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Stafford Trueheart
1: Eli Pemberton

Justin Wright-Foreman 9
Eli Pemberton 4
Stafford Trueheart 2
Desure Buie 2
Dan Dwyer 1

COACHSPEAK: “So I just said to the team, I said I did not think this would happen. I really didn’t. This team, I was up all night watching their Wake Forest game, for example, in addition to their couple of other games. And with a minute to go at Wake Forest, with 10,000 people in the stands, they were down eight. So dangerous team. They play hard, they’re scrappy and I thought we just kind of took it to them early.”

Yes! Per my research, the Dutchmen have never won a game 92-72. They’ve had a couple 92-70s and a 93-70 but no 92-72. History! Reminder: The term unicorn score was coined by Mets superfan, historian and blogger Greg Prince to describe a score by which the Mets had never previously won


The whole world's gonna know about the Dutchmen by 9:15.

The Dutchmen’s 17-0 run in the first half was certainly their longest since a game-ending 15-0 run in a 96-82 win over William & Mary on Feb. 23, 2017. Per my not-yet-complete research, I believe it is also the longest run for the Dutchmen since a 17-0 run against, yup, William & Mary in a 77-60 win on Jan. 22, 2014. (Runs research is my project for this season)

The Dutchmen have had runs of at least 10-0 in each of their three games this season. Against Mount St. Mary’s last Friday, the Dutchmen mounted two 10-0 runs, one of which spanned the halves and another in the second half. The Dutchmen had a 10-0 run against Marshall on Sunday.

Justin Wright-Foreman put the Dutchmen ahead for good with a 3-pointer with 7:07 left in the first half. The bucket also vaulted Wright-Foreman into 10th place on Hofstra’s all-time scoring list. Wright-Foreman actually gained two spots with his first two baskets Wednesday, when he moved past Leroy Allen and Frank Walker, who were previously the 11th- and 10th-leading scorers in school history. If these trends continue tonight, the Dutchmen will probably win, as Wright-Foreman is 223 points away from surpassing ninth-place Norman Richardson and 364 points away from moving past David Taylor into eighth place.

8.) David Taylor 1,8118 (1979-83)
9.) Norman Richardson 1,677 (1997-2001)
10.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 1,455 (2015-present)
11.) Frank Walker 1,437 (1985-89)
12.) Leroy Allen 1,435 (1983-87)

By scoring a team-high 22 points Wednesday night, Justin Wright-Foreman extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 56 straight games, the second-longest streak by a Hofstra player since 1989-90 (as far back as my records go, at least at home). The only player with a longer streak in the last 29 seasons is Charles Jenkins, who ended his career by scoring in double figures in his final 58 games for the Dutchmen. In addition, Wright-Foreman’s streak is the fourth-longest active streak in Division I, per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov.

Charles Jenkins 58 straight games 12/12/09-3/15/11*** 
Justin Wright-Foreman: 54 straight games 12/11/16-present
Antoine Agudio 48 straight games 3/6/06-1/17/08****
Juan’ya Green: 43 straight games 11/14/14-12/9/15 
Loren Stokes 41 straight games 2/20/06-3/14/07*** 
Loren Stokes: 34 straight games 1/14/04-1/31/05

***streak ended with the end of the player’s Hofstra career
****Agudio had three DNPs during his streak

Justin Wright-Foreman tied a career-high with seven assists Wednesday night. He is the first Dutchman player to collect at least 20 points and seven assists since Desure Buie had 20 points and eight assists against Delaware on Jan. 18, 2018.

Stafford Trueheart wasted little time in breaking his career-high for points Wednesday, when he scored all 14 of his points in the first half. It was the first double-digit scoring effort for Trueheart since he scored 10 points against Auburn on Nov. 19, 2017. Trueheart scored his first 12 points in the first 17 minutes Wednesday.

Five Dutchmen scored in double figures Wednesday and Jalen Ray just missed making it a sextet when he finished with nine points and missed a free throw in the final minute. The Dutchmen last had six players in double figures on Dec. 13, 2016, when they destroyed SUNY-Stony Brook, 96-58.

The Dutchmen were 25-of-28 from the free throw line Wednesday (89.3 percent), which was their best performance in a game in which they took at least 25 free throws since Nov. 21, 2016, when the Dutchmen were also 25-of-28 against Bradley.

Senior graduate transfers Dan Dwyer and Jacquil Taylor combined for 16 points and nine rebounds in 38 minutes. Through three games, they are averaging 9.0 points and 11.3 rebounds over 39.3 minutes per game. Last season, Rokas Gustys averaged 10.5 points and 12.0 rebounds while playing an average of 29.7 minutes per game. Dwyer and Taylor have also combined to hit seven of nine free throws, which is…different.

The game will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network Plus, though the cheapest subscription option is to subscribe to Maryland games for the season at $9.99 a month. I would say do it and then cancel tonight, but I always forget to cancel after signing up and then I end up being billed forever or at least until I change credit cards. Anyway, I’ll be listening, and you should too, to the Hofstra live audio at the Pride Productions hub here. Maryland will offer live stats (presumably free) here.

Hofstra is 0-4 all-time against Maryland, which will always be an ACC school to me. The teams last faced each other on Nov. 29, 2003, when the Terrapins earned an 87-72 win.

Maryland is 3-0 this season with wins over Delaware, Navy and North Carolina A&T, the latter of whom the Terrapins beat, 82-59, in their most recent game Monday night. The Dutchmen and Terrapins have four mutual foes — Delaware as well as North Carolina A&T, Mount St. Mary’s and Marshall, the latter three of whom are playing in this tournament that’s not really a tournament. Maryland hosts Mount St. Mary’s on Sunday and Marshall next Friday.

Maryland was picked to finish seventh in the Big 10, which of course has 14 teams, in a poll conducted by The Athletic and The Columbus Dispatch, because apparently the Big 14 does not actually conduct a preseason poll. We have it so much better.

Junior Anthony Cowan Jr. was selected to the preseason all-Big 10 team and leads the Terrapins with 17.3 points per game. Maryland has four other players averaging at least 10 points per game this season. All of them, like Cowan, were top 100 recruits coming out of high school.
At this morning, Hofstra is ranked 150th while Maryland is ranked 34th. predicts an 83-69 win for the Terrapins. Pfft what do computers know anyway. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 13-point underdogs. The Dutchmen are 3-0 against the spread this season.
The Dutchmen are 4-9 all-time against current Big 10 foes, though none of those wins was recorded against a team actually in the Big 10 at the time. All three of the Dutchmen’s wins against Rutgers came before Rutgers, which will always be an A-10 school to me, joined the Big Ten for some inexplicable reason in 2014. The Dutchmen beat Nebraska, which will always be a Big 8/Big 12 school to me, in the opening round of the NIT in 2006. Maryland will be the first Big 10 school the Dutchmen face since they fell to Purdue, an actual Big 10 school, 84-53 on Nov. 11, 2012.

Speaking of Purdue, graduate senior Jacquil Taylor played for the Boilermakers the previous three seasons but never faced Maryland.

Hofstra will actually face Big 10 foes in three sports tonight. The wrestling team is hosting Rutgers while the women's soccer team is facing Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Len Bias bias! (The late Maryland great is one of sports’ saddest what-if tales)
Boomer bias! (Long Island native Boomer Esiason played quarterback at Maryland)
Jordan Williams bias! (The former Maryland player grew up in my hometown in Connecticut)
You should still be in the ACC bias! (duh)
Patrick Stevens coverage bias! (Our good friend is a walking encyclopedia of Maryland information)

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